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HomePatientWill Assisted Living Take Dementia Patients

Will Assisted Living Take Dementia Patients

Can Dementia Get Worse Suddenly

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According to the National Institutes of Health, dementia, Alzheimers, and other memory loss diseases are progressive conditions that worsen significantly over time. However, the speed at which the condition progresses is based on unique circumstances between people.

The memory loss in some dementia patients in good health without any underlying diseases tends to deteriorate slower. However, the condition could lead to significant brain damage, causing the disease to suddenly and rapidly decline.

Dementia deterioration is usually a gradual, slow process that takes months or years to advance to its next stage. The condition will progress quickly in rare cases, making significant deteriorating changes in just weeks or months.

Effective Treatment Of Behavioral And Psychological Symptoms Of Dementia

Another study of people with dementia living in nursing homes compared the mortality rates of people who receiving anti-depressant medications to those who were receiving antipsychotic medications. They found that death rates were impacted not by whether or not someone was getting medicine or by which medicine they received, but by whether or not the medicine was effective in improving their BPSD. In other words, people in both groups lived longer if their behaviors and emotional symptoms of dementia improved with medicine.

Dementia: A Progressing Disease

In many cases, Alzheimers and dementia are progressive diseases where symptoms associated with the condition worsen over time. The debilitating transformation within weeks or months often takes independence away from dementia patients, causing a significant burden on every caregiver and family member.

Dementia, in its advanced stage, requires around-the-clock supervision in secured memory care units to ensure their safety and quality of life. The most advanced stages leave the individual unable to perform necessary activities like toileting, dressing, and bathing.

Instead, the individual is confused, disoriented, or possibly aggressive, creating a caregivers emotional or physical stress that could lead to mistreatment, neglect, or abuse. Because of that, many administrators managing and operating assisted-living facilities will quickly evict people diagnosed with early-stage dementia long before the condition has progressed to a debilitating condition.

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How To Pay For Dementia Care

With all these numbers and often, unfathomable numbers dancing around in your head, its easy to panic. How will your loved one ever be able to afford dementia care over the next one, three, five or more years?

You can breathe a sigh of relief because, thankfully, government assistance, private aid, and other help exists to help you pay for the skilled care your loved one needs.

Heres a basic overview:

Medicare

Like most health insurance, Medicare makes no differentiation between dementia care and other diseases, such as cancer. What this means in practical terms is that, if your loved one qualifies for Medicare, then Medicare will pay for dementia care within very firm limits and theyre strict, often frustrating limits: 100% of nursing home care for 20 days, and 80% of nursing home care for up to an additional 80 days. Thats just 100 days, or less than 3 months of nursing home care.

Additionally, Medicare will not cover custodial or personal care, in-home health aides, or even assisted living for dementia patients. For this reason, dementia patients almost always require secondary assistance, beyond the confines of Medicare. Which brings us to:

Medigap and Supplementary Insurance

Medigap care does not specifically cover dementia care, but it typically does pay the final 20% of nursing home care that Medicare does not cover.

Veteran Assistance

Medicaid

For dementia patients who require highly skilled care, Medicaid is the largest single payer of nursing home care.

Start A Conversation Early

Dementia Assisted Living

If possible, begin making the long-term care plan as early as possible after the dementia diagnosis.

If your parent or loved one is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers or dementia, looking ahead to find the right community allows them to be a part of the process, which can make for a smoother transition when moving day arrives.

Ideally, the time to move to a community is when s/he is no longer able to live safely and independently at home or when the level of care required becomes more than what you and/or other caregivers are able to provide from a time and safety perspective.

On the flip side, if your loved one is in mid-to later-stages of the disease, it can be upsetting to engage him/her in selecting a community and planning moving day. In some cases, it is better to wait until the change is eminent to announce the move, and enlist the help of family and friends for decision-making, sorting, and packing.

Visit ourGuide for Talking to a Loved One About Memory Care for more insight into this topic.

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Communicate With The New Caregiving Staff

First and foremost, the staff want to get to know new residents. The more they know about your parent, the easier it is to spark conversations and connect with him/her as s/he settles in.

Additionally, its helpful to lean on the staff and allow them to explain the new transition and to support your parent during the move. Again, choosing a memory care-specific community means the administration and staff are well-versed experts and will know exactly what to say without causing further confusion or upset for your parent.

Making The Choice To Look For Assisted Living Dementia Care

If you recognize the above signs in your loved one it may just be time to make a change and look for assisted living dementia care. While it can be tough to make the call, its important to recognize that it may just be the best choice for both you and your loved one.

Ready to learn more about assisted living and memory care in Florida? Contact us today to learn more about what Seasons Memory Care can do for you.

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Visit Assisted Living Facilities And Nursing Homes

Make several visits at different times of the day and evening.

Ask yourself:

  • How does the staff care for the residents?
  • Is the staff friendly?
  • Does the place feel comfortable?
  • How do the people who live there look?
  • Do they look clean and well cared for?
  • Are mealtimes comfortable?
  • Is the facility clean and well-maintained?
  • Does it smell bad?
  • How do staff members speak to residentswith respect?

Ask the staff:

  • What activities are planned for residents?
  • How many staff members are at the facility? How many of them are trained to provide medical care if needed?
  • How many people in the facility have Alzheimers disease?
  • Does the facility have a special unit for people with Alzheimers? If so, what kinds of services does it provide?
  • Is there a doctor who checks on residents on a regular basis? How often?

You also may want to ask staff:

  • What is a typical day like for the person with Alzheimers disease?
  • Is there a safe place for the person to go outside?
  • What is included in the fee?
  • How does my loved one get to medical appointments?

Talk with other caregivers who have a loved one at the facility. Find out what they think about the place.

If you’re asked to sign a contract, make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.

Bring A Simple Collection Of Favorite Things

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Odds are their new room is smaller than their current home, and clutter is a recipe for confusion and trip hazards.

If you havent received information from the assisted living community director or staff about what to bring from home, give them a call to find out how much is just enough to bring.

In some communities, rooms come furnished, but you should still be able to bring touches from home such as a favorite chair, wall art, personalized bedding, a CD player or iPod/docking station to play his/her favorite music.

At The Memory Center, our rooms are unfurnished to allow residents and their families to more closely recreate a space that looks and feels like home.

Having familiar pieces from home helps new residents settle in more quickly. And again, be careful about asking your parent which item do you want to take with you, as these types of decisions can be agitating in later stages of the disease.

We recommend reading Making A New Space In Assisted Living Or Memory Care Feel Like Home for more information on this important topic.

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When Should Someone With Dementia Move To Assisted Living

According to the Alzheimers Association, around 16 million Americans dedicate their time to taking care of a family member with dementia. While it is good for these people to devote themselves to their loved ones, it can be a burden to ensure home health care without falling sick or affecting their careers.

More importantly, time will come when the increasing needs of dementia patients exceed our capabilities. Even relying on caregivers is just a temporary solution. It is the time when we have to carefully consider moving a loved one into an assisted living facility.

But when should people with dementia move to assisted living facilities?

Every patient is different, so there is no specific guideline to follow when deciding if its time to move them to a facility. However, according to experts, the following are the most common signs that call for a shift from home care to assisted living.

A Senior Cant Complete Basic Tasks Of Daily Living

One of the clearest signs that a senior needs more help than theyre getting occurs is they cant complete the basic tasks of daily living, such as showering, eating, using the toilet, brushing teeth, and getting dressed.

If you spend a lot of time with an aging loved one, you might already know theyre struggling with these tasks. Sometimes the signs are hidden. Clues to watch for include:

  • A dramatic change in grooming habits. A woman who once did her makeup every morning might now look disheveled.
  • A strange body odor.
  • A foul smell in the house.
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom, possibly due to incontinence. Alternatively, your loved one might not go to the bathroom at all.
  • Very bad breath, missing teeth, or signs of tooth decay.
  • Appearing overwhelmed by daily activities.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Being unable to cook or shop for groceries.

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How Is Memory Care Different From Assisted Living

Memory care communities have environments that are secured against wandering and specially designed to be calming and easy to navigate.

Theres 24 hour supervision and a higher staff to patient ratio for a greater level of care.

And in memory care communities, staff are specifically trained to work with older adults with cognitive impairments.

Memory care residents get help with important daily tasks, like taking medication, bathing, dressing, and eating.

There are also structured activities, exercise, and therapy programs.

Outcomes Measurement And Research Issues For The Dementia Population In Assisted Living

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines research as a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge . As assisted living for dementia evolves, part of the issue is what generalizable knowledge assisted living’s various stakeholders need.

In the long-term-care field, most research has focused on the relationship of structure and process, as mediated by resident characteristics, on resident outcomes. identified five dimensions of care in their literature review that are generally considered to be relevant to outcomes in dementia care. These are: assessment and diagnosis staff specialization and ongoing education nonuse of restraints flexible care routines, including client-relevant activities and specialized environmental design and adaptation. The studies they reviewed and their own study were primarily in a nursing home population. Chappell and Reid went on to write, These dimensions have received varying degrees of attention in the literature , with the most attention going to staff training and some attention being paid to care routines and the physical environment. Falls, elopements, acts of aggression, pain, and other adverse outcomes have been the subject of many anecdotal reports and few rigorous reviews or studies.

Delineating Outcomes

Other Methodological Issues

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Paying For Alzheimers Care Overview

Alzheimers disease, Lewy Body dementia, Frontotemporal dementia , and other related memory disorders and dementia affect over 5.5 million aging Americans. Depending on the stage of these diseases, individuals can require 24-hour supervision or care. This means each year in the U.S., there are billions of hours spent caring for individuals with these conditions. While the vast majority of that care is provided by friends and family members, what happens when those caregivers are not available? Who pays for Alzheimers care? Fortunately, there are many programs that provide financial assistance, respite care, and other forms of aid to help families and caregivers.

The worldwide cost of dementia care is approximately 1 trillion U.S. dollars. If dementia care were a country, it would be the worlds 17th largest economy.

Helpful Resources

Supplementing Senior Living With In

Of course, family and friends can provide loved ones with assistance regardless of where they live, but the reality is that they cannot be there all the time. There is a limit to what one person can provide, whether it is at home as a sole caregiver or as a visitor supplementing the care provided in a senior living facility. The good news is that hiring in-home care can help a dementia patient remain in a certain level of care for a longer period.

In-home care can be provided in whatever setting a senior considers home. For example, assisted living only offers intermittent care and supervision, but hiring a professional caregiver to spend one-on-one time with your loved one could improve their safety and postpone a move to the next level of care. As long as this supplemental supervision keeps the senior safe and falls within the current facilitys qualification guidelines, a transition to a nursing home could be delayed or even avoided entirely. The only catch is that the facility must have a policy allowing such an arrangement with an outside provider.

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Keep The Logistics Of The Move To A Minimum For Your Loved One

Chances are, your parent is already experiencing a lot of emotions about the big move.

Associations are important. If the first day of your loved ones new life is hectic and scary, their transition is going to be negatively impacted.

As much as possible, keep things simple.

The logistics may get complicated, but try to make the transition as smooth as possible for your parent.

Dementia And Assisted Living Or Memory Care Communities

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Senior Services of America offers assisted living and memory care communities that are designed to provide residents with nurturing, comfortable, and home-like environments.

Supportive services are available that correspond with the level of care needed.

Our residents can have help managing

  • Medication

  • Grooming and

  • Housekeeping needs

as well as receive care from our nurses and team members that ensure a positive experience every day.

Find your nearest community to learn more about how we care for those with dementia.

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Getting Assessed For Residential Care

The ACAT will determine the level of care needed by the person with dementia. The team will assess their needs and recommend appropriate types of residential care and provide details of facilities which may be suitable. Any concerns or issues that you may have can be discussed with the team. As applications will usually have to be made to several facilities it may be necessary to visit many places. Try to work through the list of facilities in an organised way taking notes as you go. If possible, take a friend or family member on the visits. Trust your intuition and common sense when assessing residential care facilities for a person with dementia.

What Are Common Dementia Treatments

While dementia cannot be cured, there are treatments you can use that can help improve symptoms. There are many medications that are effective for treating dementia symptoms early on in the disease. Environmental therapy is also very helpful for seniors with dementia. This process involves making their environment cleaner and less confusing, and teaching them memory coping skills for when they experience an episode. Soothing activities, such as listening to music, coloring, spending time with a pet, or gentle exercise, are incredibly beneficial for dementia sufferers, because it helps them feel more comfortable in their environment.

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Combining Memory Care And Assisted Living

Its also possible to find memory care within an assisted living facility. Many assisted living communities have specialized care units for residents with dementia or Alzheimers.

These units usually provide 24-hour supervised care in a separate wing or floor of a residential community, along with all the therapies and amenities of memory care. So, a senior with early-stage dementia may be able to move to an assisted living residence first and then transition to the memory care level later if needed.

This option may ease the move to memory care and enable seniors to maintain friendships and staff relationships from their previous assisted living environment.

What Should I Look For In A Dementia Care Facility

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living For Dementia?

There are many things to look for when searching for dementia care facilities for your loved one. The first thing to look for is a credentialed staff of doctors, nurses, and caretakers. You should always look into the education and training of the staff that work at the dementia care home. They should have specific experience in working with dementia patients. You should also look at what the requirements are to work there – the more stringent they are during their hiring process, the more likely they are to provide great service for their patients.

Other things to consider are the cost of the dementia care facility and how close it is to the rest of your family. Senior care can be quite expensive, so its important to find a good memory care facility that fits within your budget. If youre struggling to pay for it, talk to the staff about payment plan options, and be sure to look into Medicare as well. There are ways to lessen the financial burden involved in dementia care. Many families will also want to keep their loved ones close, and would prefer a memory care facility thats within driving distance. This is an important consideration for many reasons – not only does it allow family members to spend more time with patients, but it also means that theres someone nearby who can come by in case of an emergency.

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